Jason recently published a post on Auxiliary Tabs—secondary embedded web views that you can use for integrating blogs, book recommendations and more into your white-label apps. His post reminded me that I’d been meaning to write about a particularly well executed example a white-label embedded web view: Entitle.
Many of you may have already heard about Entitle—they are one of the leaders in the hot subscription service space. Entitle’s approach is closer to the traditional book club model than it is to “all you can eat” services like Scribd and Oyster. That said, Entitle customers get to keep their ebooks; Oyster and Scribd users don’t. Entitle customers choose a monthly plan that entitles them to download two books a month for $9.99 or three books a month for $14.99.
Here’s a screen shot of the “home page” embedded web view in their iOS app:
Subscribers can see the books they’ve already added to their collection (“Latest Cloud Books”), their wish list of books they’ve tagged, but not yet downloaded (“View Your Queued Books”) and Entitle’s recommendations of books they might be interested in (“We Think You’ll Love”). As you can see, they’ve done a great job of creating a visually rich user experience.
Another nice feature of their implemenation is the ability to sample content. The screen shot below shows the “more information” view for a currently selected title.
Again they’ve used the opportunity to promote related titles that might be of interest to the subscriber. When you click on the Sample icon you see the following:
It’s a preview of the book delivered through the same embedded web view.
Nicely done Entitle!
The holiday season is shifting into high gear and so are we. You probably already know about our recent app updates and the great new features we’re delivering. But there’s more! We’ve also been rolling out new white label apps for our growing list of customers worldwide.
While we continue to add new customers in North America, most of our new business is coming from abroad. The growing availability of ebooks from publishers worldwide, the growing range of compelling devices at a variety of price points and the availability of cost effective, branded mobile reading/retailing apps (from Bluefire) are giving booksellers of all kinds a shot at competing in this fast growing market.
Here are the new white label apps that we’ve shipped in the last two months:
- Booktopia Reader (Australia) – iOS
- eBækur from D3 Midlar ehf (Iceland) – Android / iOS
- eKitabu (Kenya) – Android
- eBook.de Reader from Libre.de Internet GmbH (Germany) – Android / iOS
- Kalahari.com Reader from MIH Internet Africa (Proprietary) Limited (South Africa) – Android / iOS
- Saxo Reader from Saxo.com (Denmark) – Android / iOS
- VLeBooks Reader from The Little Group (United Kingdom) – Android / iOS
- Better World Books – Android / iOS
- HMH eTextbooks from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Android / iOS
- Reader – eBooks from Sony – iOS
We think this is an impressive list—and it will grow quite a bit over the next few weeks as we release more new partner apps and update our existing customers to the latest iOS and Android builds.
We’re also seeing our customers use their branded apps to expand their reach beyond the traditional app distribution channels (e.g. the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store). For example, Hastings preinstalls their branded app on devices that are sold online and in their stores—giving new device owners an easy way to connect with the company’s impressive goHastings.com online store.
Device manufacturers are also using the Bluefire platform to expand their reach. The release of the iOS Reader™ app – eBooks from Sony gives iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users access to their Reader Store by Sony purchases, helping Sony deliver on their goal of giving their customers the freedom to read the content they love, anytime and anywhere.
Over the past few years we’ve championed the notion of choice. We’re pleased to see that readers have a growing choice of retailers along with a growing choice of reading devices and apps. It’s a good way to start out the holiday season!
Location: Amarillo, TX
Branded app: goHastings Readmor App
Hastings Entertainment is a successful brick and mortar chain with more than 140 locations in the United States. Their entertainment superstores sell new and used books, music, videos, games and more. Hastings recognized that their loyal customers had a growing interest in eBooks. The company decided to integrate the sale of eBooks into their already successful goHastings website—to retain their loyal customers and compete for new customers in the growing eBook market. They committed themselves to delivering a seamless end-to-end mobile shopping and reading experience.
Hastings turned to Bluefire Productions to build the goHastings Readmor apps for iOS and Android. They also decided to launch their own white-label Android device, again with the help of Bluefire. The Readmor app for Android gives customers the ability to shop for books and read books in the Hastings branded and managed environment. Customers can download the app on their Android phone or tablet, or purchase a device in a Hastings store. The device sold in the stores has the Readmor app pre-installed, so new users can shop and read right away.
The Bluefire powered Readmor app enables customers to explore the hundreds of thousands of eBooks on sale goHastings.com. Now, Hastings loyal customers can build their personal eBook collections with new releases, a deep catalog of backlist titles, free eBooks and more.
The iOS Readmor app makes it easy for iPhone and iPad users to download and read previously purchased eBooks. iOS users can also shop through the mobile Safari browser.
Feedback from customers (old and new) has been very positive. Vicki Maloney, Director of eCommerce at Hastings Entertainment noted that the app, “has been a turning point in helping shift our presence to being mobile. Now, with the customized Hastings Readmor App we are able to provide that end-to-end experience for our customers and give them what they want in the format they want it in.”
The Bluefire Platform
Bluefire Reader integrates Adobe® digital publishing technologies, the most widely used eBook distribution and reading system. The Adobe Reader Mobile-based applications support ePUB and PDF content, including files protected by Adobe Content Server (ACS) encryption technology.
Founded in 1968, Hastings Entertainment, Inc. is a leading multimedia entertainment retailer that combines the sale of new and used books, videos, video games and CDs, and trends and consumer electronics merchandise, with the rental of videos and video games in a superstore format. They currently operate 140 superstores, averaging approximately 24,000 square feet, primarily in medium-sized markets throughout the United States. They also operate three concept stores, Sun Adventures Sports, located in Amarillo, Texas and Lubbock Texas, and TRADESMART, located in Littleton, Colorado.
www.goHastings.com is an e-commerce Internet Web site that makes available to our customers new and used entertainment products and unique, contemporary gifts and toys. The site features exceptional product and pricing offers.